Thursday, 28 July 2011

Paper fun!

Mel and I have been having fun today - decorating the Lark shop with our new paper balls and fans! Yay!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

In praise of bacon and eggs

One of the greatest pleasures when you work from home occasionally, is to be able to have bacon and eggs for brunch. Mmm, a big drippy buttery bacon and egg sandwich. When I was little my dad used to love a 'bacon butty' when he came home from working a late shift, and it is the ultimate comfort food for me. Also the best hangover cure. I make mine with veggie bacon in order to be kind to animals and the planet!

Allison's bacon and eggs for 2 hungry (or hungover) people

4 slices of white sandwich bread (nothing fancy, just regular supermarket stuff is the best)
4 eggs (the quality does matter with eggs, try and get organic and free range local eggs)
4 slices of Sanitarium bacon style rashers
Butter and vegetable oil

Heat up the grill compartment of your oven. Butter one slice of bread. On the stove, lightly fry the rashers in veg oil, just to warm them through, remove them from the frypan and keep them warm. Break eggs into the pan and cook on the stove for 1 minute until the egg white is cooked but not crispy (ewww!). Now put the pan under the grill to cook the eggs from above for about 2 minutes or until the yolk is just firm outside and still drippy inside.

Put 2 bacon rashers onto each buttered slice of bread. Arrange 2 eggs on top, so that the yolks are not right next to each other (to ensure even yolkiness when you eat). Put the remaining bread slices on top and gently squash down.

Serve with a big mug of Irish Breakfast builders tea and a serviette. Yummm!

Back to work. x

Sunday, 24 July 2011

We have a winner!

Beth from BabyMac is the winner of my ballerina cupcake wrappers/Donna Hay Kids giveaway! Please get in touch, Beth, to receive your goodies.

Thank you to everyone who entered!x

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Tissue Paper Decorations are here!

Yesterday our new collection of tissue paper decorations arrived at Lark. I am SO excited about them! You will have seen pretty paper balls and bells and fans in lots of magazines and pretty blogs recently, and now we have a gorgeous range of them in our store, in stunning contemporary colours and several sizes, to help you make an amazing display (with barely any effort!).

Our tissue decorations are made in the USA by a small family business, and the quality is the best we have seen.Each piece comes flat and you simply pop it open and fix it with the self-adhesive strip and voila! Ready to hang, or stick on your wall. We have been so excited to get these in store that we haven't had a chance to set up a photoshoot yet, but here are some of my favourite ideas from around the web. CLICK HERE to find the tissue decorations at Lark.

found here, here, here

New Shop Photos

These amazing photos of our shop were created by Melbourne photography student Annette O'Brien. Thanks Annette, we love your work! And thanks also to Jordana, who makes our shop look lovely every week!

Friday, 22 July 2011

A glorious day

Wow, what a wonderfully glorious day it has been in Daylesford today. There was definitely a hint of spring in the air, a big blue sky and I even felt some actual warmth from the sun!!! I took my scarf and coat off OUTSIDE for the first time in several months.

We went out for a Lark lunch in Hepburn, to welcome our new staff member, Mel, who is extremely awesome. Dean (our warehouse guy) has an old open-top sports car so we drove over to Hepburn 'al fresco', feeling very glamorous.

HUGE lunch at the Chowder House. I love this place. Great food, op shop kitschy decor, the best service in Daylesford, and there is always a party atmosphere. When we went there for a family breakfast last weekend the owner started an impromptu trivia quiz for all the customers, and we made friends with a family from Bendigo at the next table. Hilarious, and hugely delicious and very fattening food, like giant drippy mango cream cupcakes and the biggest breakfasts in town. Love.

Anyway, I digress, as they say. After lunch I pottered at The Lark House for a while, preparing it for this weekend's guests, and I ambled back to work via the Daylesford Bazaar. Doug rang me a few days ago with some good news: last year I spied a very sweet sewing table there but it had already sold (boo), however the girl who bought it is leaving Daylesford so it is back again, and now it's finally mine! Yay! Thank goodness for Doug and his incredible memory. I also picked up a big crochet granny squares blanket and a sweet vintage cup and saucer. The very cute kitten cookie jar in the photo was also tempting but I resisted - isn't she adorable?

Back home to pick up the kids and a parent-teacher meeting with our oldest son's teacher, now I am enjoying the last of today's sunlight while Paul makes pizza with smoky eggplant and garlicky Meredith goat's cheese. Hope the weather stays nice for the weekend, it's such a pick-me-up, isn't it?x

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Le stash

Shopping in Spotlight for supplies yesterday, I couldn't resist buying some lengths of these Liberty-esque tana lawn prints to add to my fabric stash. Aren't they lovely? And some dotty fat quarters too. I can definitely feel spring coming!!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Lark Shop will be closed 6th & 7th August

Just to let you know, in case you are planning a trip to Daylesford, The Lark Shop will be closed the weekend of 6th and 7th as August. Our online store will, of course, stay open!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

In The Age

We were thrilled to find The Lark House featured in The Age travel section last Saturday. One of our favourite Age writers Frances Atkinson visited the house a few weeks ago (incognito - we didn't know at the time), so we were hoping for a little mention but we couldn't believe that the house scored a whole page to itself, wowsers! And Fran wrote some lovely words about the house too. The review rated The Lark House at 18/20 which I reckon is pretty good. Phew! You can read the full piece online HERE.

And you can find out more about our lovely house and the possibility of a totally awesomely relaxing visit to Daylesford HERE!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Video addict

I have become a bit addicted to YouTube craft tutorials recently, and I especially like the how-to video channel by Hobbycraft, a UK based craft superstore (I am so going to one of their stores on my next visit!). I have been learning how to do all kinds of basic but useful things like animal puppets and paper flowers.

My favourite presenter is Hannah, I think she should have her own TV show - here she is decorating British style cupcakes, look how jolly Hannah is! And she makes it all look so simple.

If you have any favourite craft videos to share please tell me!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

A busy birdie

Cor, has this week been busy or what? Paul and I have been juggling the school holidays with a major overhaul of our office, managing the final big batch of orders from our winter sale and planning for our upcoming trade fair. I don't think I have ever been so busy, and that's saying something. I was a bit teary about it all on Thursday, as I hate not being able to do my best, but thanks to help from some of our lovely local friends we pulled through and I am no longer overwhelmed. Anyway, next week promises some exciting new developments and a fresh start.

I hope everyone's relaxing this weekend - I am!! Last night we had a hilarious family meal out at the Daylesford Bowling Club with our best pals. My son won a meat raffle - not much use as he is vegetarian, hee hee! But after a bit of negotiation it was swapped for a voucher from Country Cuisine, who make tasty jams and pickles. Today the boys and I have been sitting at the table cutting things out and chatting, Paul made a delicious gozleme stuffed with buttery leeks and fetta cheese for lunch, I picked fruit from the garden, the boys took the dogs for a long walk, we ate cupcakes, and now I am doing a bit of online shopping for my son's birthday. Although it is still totally freezing here in country Victoria, it is at least bright and crisp today, lovely! x

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Lark House update

We've had some lovely guests at The Lark House this month - it's been back-to-back booking during the school holidays and there have been some very sweet comments in the visitor book.

We were surprised to find a feature on the house in last week's Herald-Sun. Yay! And best news, one of my favourite online magazines Small has just started a travel feature and the Lark House was chosen as the first destination. You can read the interview I did with Small magazine HERE.

The Lark House currently has two free weekends in August, and then it is quiet through September, so its a good opportunity to have a cosy winter break before Spring comes. We are already taking enquiries for the Spring school holidays and Christmas, and we have some wedding parties booked in for January. Please check availability and make bookings through Daylesford Getaways.

Monday, 11 July 2011

A pretty giveaway!

I was very excited to see our 'Something in the Air' cupcake wraps featured in the new issue of Donna Hay Kids!

Donna and her team have styled a very pretty ballerina party, and look, they have made ballerina cupcakes with our wrappers topped off with vintage ballerinas from our dear friends Nathalie and Kathy at The Cupcake Wrapper Co. Hurrah!

I have a spare copy of Donna Hay Kids, so I am offering a little giveaway that also includes a pack of the cupcake wraps. To enter, please leave a blog or facebook comment, telling me your favourite cupcake flavour. A winner will be drawn at random next weekend. x

p.s. this post is not sponsored by Donna Hay, I am just a big fan is all.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Lofty Larks

Paul and I are redecorating the Lark office today (brrr). How good is this wallpaper? It is a vintage 'Lofty Larks' print by Vera, found at Anthropologie. Hurrah for larks! I have found two Taubmans shades that work really well with it - Orange Poppy and Monica Pink. Also adding a vintage 50s office chair bought on eBay and a NEW kitchenette. Yay! I will show you the results when it is all finished...

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Hmm, very pinteresting...

I am spending ages on Pinterest at the moment. It is like someone has created the perfect website for an obsessive magazine-reading, image clipping, inspiration-board making person like me. There is always something new to love over there. Are you on Pinterest too? Let me know, as I need more pretty boards to follow! You can find my clippings HERE.

Dry July

This year I am taking part in Dry July, an awesome community project raising funds for people battling cancer.

My lovely dad died of cancer 7 years ago. Ted had only just retired and loved spending time with his grandchildren. He was also learning to 'surf' the internet and to speak Spanish. I miss my dad every day, and wish he was here to see our sons growing up (his longed-for boys after 3 daughters and 6 grand daughters). Cancer is a terrible thing.

For the month of July, I have given up alcohol. A small sacrifice, I know, but it's pretty hard-going after a day of work and kids when wine o' clock comes around and you have to stick to water! I am proud to have reached day 6 without being tempted, although I did very come close on Sunday, I must admit.

If you'd like to join in or donate money to Dry July in memory of someone you have lost to cancer yourself, please CLICK HERE. I'm part of a team organised by Pip of Meet me at Mikes, and we're hoping to raise loads of money for the Royal Melbourne Hospital by the end of the month. It's really simple to donate online and your money will go a long way towards helping people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

And roll on 1st August, I'll be the one with a very large gin and tonic! x

A little bit of thrift

I haven't been op shopping for a while, but last week presented a couple of opportunities for thrifting - a day trip to Bendigo, and a collectables fair in Ballarat with Morgan. I am trying not to add too much to my stash at the moment, but there were a few things too good to resist, like these mini plastic baskets at 50 cents each!

An as-new vintage wool blanket. I was taken by the vibrant teal/aqua colour of this, it's unusual and very pretty. Once washed it will look fab in my son's room.

A cute little vintage quilt for a dollar.

A big 60s platter that goes nicely in the kitchen in our new house.

A couple of lovely fairytale storybooks, I can never resist these.

And this cute vintage puzzle was just 50 cents.

I think my favourite find was this vintage 1950s fabric from an op shop in Bendigo, I adore the umbrellas. I was excited to find a large piece of such lovely old fabric, quite a rare find these days!

Hopefully during the school holidays I'll ge the chance to visit a few more oppies! x

Friday, 1 July 2011

Day 3! Last Chance to shop in the Lark Sale!

Our 3-day sale ends at midnight tonight, so don't forget to grab some Lark sale bargains!

We've marked some products down even further, you can find them here.

A big thanks to everyone who has ordered from our sale, we'll be shipping our orders over the next 14 days, and look out for a little Lark treat in each parcel!

The Crafty Squirrel is Open!

Yay! Today was the opening of The Crafty Squirrel, my friend Morgan's shop in Ballarat, and I was lucky enough to spend the day helping out behind the counter, meeting lots of local people who popped in, crafty chicks and school mums.

Here is Morgan behind the counter with her giant pencil(!), ready for business. Really, the shop is so amazing as it combines many things handmade by Morgan in her studio with an incredible range of vintage haberdashery items, Japanese cute things and lots of unusual crafty and handmade labels too. What a great mix! And you can pick up something unique for just a dollar or two.

The Crafty Squirrel is open Fridays and Saturdays, at the corner of Urquhart and Errard Streets in Ballarat. If you like vintage, crafty and handmade (who doesn't?), then you simply must visit soon!